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PGTA Subcontractor Rationale

The NIoT Postgraduate Teacher Apprenticeship Programme

The NIoT is committed to the professional and personal development of the school workforce and to making a significant contribution to a self-improving school system. Our vision is of a school system that nurtures the talents of teachers and leaders at all stages of their careers, so they can provide children with the world-class education they deserve.

At the NIoT, we want to play our part in developing the next generation of teachers, managers and leaders in our own schools and throughout the school system. The National Institute is an accredited provider of Initial Teacher Education and an approved apprenticeship training provider.

Our NIoT Post Graduate Teaching Apprenticeship (PGTA) programme provides an industry leading pathway into teaching. This offers graduates already working in your school the opportunity to train to teach while remaining in your school, and for their training to be funded through the apprenticeship levy – a source which many schools haven’t yet used to its full potential.

Rationale for Subcontracting

The NIoT is committed to reaching areas that are underserved by ITE and professional development more generally. The decision to subcontract to NIoT Associate Colleges (ACs) for the provision of the PGTA was made for the express purpose of reaching areas of low uptake of ITE and professional development and where schools struggled to recruit. There are a currently a limited number of providers of the PGTA, often with small, very local provision. As a result, potential apprentices for the PGTA may not have the opportunity to train to teach via this route. Working in partnership with subcontractors (ACs) therefore enhances the opportunities available for learners.

We know that it is vital to deliver in a convenient, local area as a key barrier for potential apprentices is travel and commuting time. As such, working with our network of ACs supports better geographical access for learners.

It is also important to ensure that the content of the ITE programme recognises local context and challenges. Designing a programme that enables subcontractors to bring this local element into their delivery ensures that the apprentices are trained to meet local recruitment needs. We ensure we train apprentices and trainees to teach the children in front of them, not ‘one-size fits all’ and so our approach is localised and driven by a high quality, ambitious and research-based curriculum. As a result, the provision delivered by our ACs fills gaps in expert provision and provide better access to training facilities.

This rationale has been approved by the DfE and has the full support of our Board of Trustees who acknowledge the need to widen the availability of this route which in turn widens access to training to teach. The PGTA route is particularly attractive to those already working in schools, which in turn means these candidates may not be in a position to take on a training course which incurs fees and doesn’t provide a salary. In the current climate of under-recruitment to the teaching profession, the PGTA is a vital entry point for those who may otherwise be disadvantaged by the financial burden of training to teach.

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